Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Ubin First Stop Restaurant now on mainland Changi
On Sunday, 13 April 2008, Straits Times reported that Singaporeans can now get a taste of Ubin on the mainland.
Interestingly, one of the restaurant featured, is run by a previous islander, Mr Leong Kee Keng 56, who served water-skiiers and boaters from his family kitchen on the island's north shore. The restaurant then moved to the mainland and has been moving from place to place, now owned by a businesswoman from the mainland.
The other is the Ubin First Stop Restaurant which may be familiar to people who frequent the island since 1990. Irony again, Ubin First Stop is owned by a mainlander, Mr Alan Tan 55, "who was born on the mainland but visited his relatives on Ubin regularly as a child".
But what is the true cuisine and "taste" of Ubin? Is it synonymous with seafood as suggested by the article or is it fresh kampung food served by the locals in the kampung setting?
Ubin First Stop's owner said that he is setting up shop on the mainland because "some of his regulars began complaining that it was a hassle to travel to Ubin every time they needed a seafood fix".
However, for me, enjoying the true taste of Ubin food is when I can sit by the beach, enjoying my homecooked food as I watch the fishermen cast their nets. I enjoy eating homemade lontong at Pak Ali's in the mornings. Gigantic portions of fried seafood beehoon at the 2 sister's [located beside Ubin First Stop] for lunch. Finally seafood at Ah Lian's restaurant under the canopy and the cool sea breeze. After all, Ah Lian's father in law is now the oldest man on Ubin who is said to have lived to his grand old age from eating all the freshest seafood from Ubin! I was kindly informed by a resident who frequents Hai Liang's family restaurant and provision shop. The restaurant is after all a converted store room from the family's home!
What I find interesting is that, if the banner pictured above is where the new Ubin First Stop will be located, it is actually a precious landmark to the Changi landscape! That building used to be the customs' office at Changi. It is a wonderful building on stilts that is a reminder to the coastal village that changi was! Likewise, the location of Ubin First Stop on Ubin itself is also a historic landmark being where the maternity clinic of Ubin used to be at!
Do you have fond memories of "food and fun" on Ubin? Straits Times wants to know and so do I! Do leave a comment and share your thoughts. Which is your favourite Ubin resturant?